5 Stages of How to Use Design Thinking in Startups for Best Outcomes

The business world is in constant change and progress. The marketplace dynamics change rapidly, and the change is even faster for startups. What takes a startup one step further is its ability to satisfy the needs of consumers under hectic market conditions. But one might ask, why do some startups become successful while others disappear and go faint?

 The answer to that question lies in coming up with creative potential solutions, solutions that are built on a proper understanding of consumers with a decent proactive strategy. And that’s what design thinking is all about.

We’ve created a step-by-step process to help you integrate design thinking into your business model. The design thinking approach will help your startup generate business ideas for creating an adequate user experience to become more successful. 

We will get into more detail further, but here is a quick summary of the steps you should take to keep one step ahead in the game:

  • Empathize with your consumer
  • Define the problem
  • Generate creative but practical ideas
  • Make a prototype
  • Test your prototype

Understanding design thinking

Design thinking is a problem-solving strategy that designers have heavily used. The core mentality of design thinking is having a rich insight into the consumer and focusing on creating an accurate solution. The critical point here is prioritizing the consumer. Indeed, any startup develops its own strategy for prioritizing the customer; but it’s often possible for startups to get lost in their short-term performance. There’s none to blame, though, since the startup environment is extremely competitive and fast pacing.

Startups can use the design thinking method to create their own opportunity for growth.

Understand your consumer

Design thinking starts with understanding the consumer. To understand your audience, you need to empathize with them. Startups might conduct short interviews, surveys, or field research to gain valuable insights. 

While the survey is considerably easier to perform, interviews or field research might provide more resourceful insight for the business. Either way, it’s essential to understand the needs, or maybe the troubles, of consumers.

Define the challenge

Once you understand your consumeryou can define your challenge. Maybe it’s your ux design that needs to be updated, or you might require developing new features for your product. It’s necessary here to make problem statements because it allows the company to draw a solid roadmap.Note that the company should take the challenges one by one. Customers might point out a couple of challenges for the startup, but the challenges should be listed based on their urgency, and each challenge should be tackled once at a time. Otherwise, creating a solution might turn into a messy process. 


Act like an inventor. Finding a solution is as essential as understanding the problem. It should be helpful to be inclusive in this step; assigning a diversity of people for creating ideas would allow brainstorming sessions to be more effective. Thinking outside of the box is the critical point here. While it’s nice to generate as many ideas as possible, startups should pay regard to the quality of the ideas as well. An optimal solution should be good enough to meet the consumers’ needs and creative enough to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Don’t limit your thought process. 

Solidify your idea

After deciding what direction to follow, a substantial outcome is necessary to see if your solution is the right solution. Creating a prototype might help startups assess their situation without making major expenses. 

A prototype might be a beta version of your product, a free trial feature, or a new type of product. Based on the decisions taken in the ideate step, startups should implement an accurate prototype policy. Before testing your prototype, it’s essential that you make necessary evaluations about it to see if it matches the criteria you envisioned. What’s important here is to ensure that your prototype has the potential to satisfy your consumers while giving you a competitive edge.

Make a test run

After you have your prototype, it’s time to test it. Testing is all about generating user feedback to find honest responses to your solution. 

Keeping the testing process quickis fundamental for deciding the next step for your business. If the testing turns out good for the company, congratulations, you completed your design thinking process effectively. However, the cookie doesn’t always crumble this way. Don’t forget that success is never certain. Your prototype might fail or become insufficient in meeting the consumer’s needs. Don’t give up yet. That’s why you make a test run: See if your solution works. 

If it doesn’t, you should reevaluate your thinking process and quickly develop a new prototype. Developing quick responses to your consumers’ needs should be your primary focus because consumers quickly change brands. It’s definitely not easy for startups to maintain their market run stable in a constantly changing market. But don’t let that bring you down; be open to change, and keep a close relationship with your consumers. Using the design thinking method efficiently for your company can develop solid consumer relationships and become an attraction point in the market.



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